I’ve been a lousy blogger lately. I’ve been a lousy lots-of-stuff lately. It isn’t because of laziness – most days I’ve been too busy to turn on my computer. It isn’t due to lack of inspiration either – I’ve got material for now until year’s end.
It’s because of panic.
I’ve been cramming for a life exam that’s coming due in a few months. And it feels like a pass/fail situation. I’m not exactly sure what happens if I fail, but I picture something like this:
It’s because of twisted humor.
Yes, I’m the witch. Ironically, I’m also the “good little girl” because this test was scheduled by a much younger version of me. She had a few ideas in her pretty, little head about what I should have accomplished by my next birthday. My chances of meeting her expectations are not low, they’re impossible; and these last few months I’ve been rushing to get as close as I can, as fast as I can. “Oh, what a world! What a world!” This is 40?
It’s because of sadness.
I joke now, but I’ve been doing a lot more crying than laughing about it. In a recent journal entry, I called it “not just a birthday, but a death-day too.” Whose death? A version of myself that I thought would be, but isn’t. This can’t be 40!
I’ve been grieving for the dreams I thought would be by now, but aren’t. I’ve been grieving for all the hard I thought would get easier, but hasn’t. I’ve been grieving for the distance . . . between me, and the me of my youth . . . between me, and the me I’d like to be.
It’s because of fear.
The time I haven’t spent grieving or frantically trying to cross accomplishments off the proverbial list, I’ve worried. Once I stopped grieving, would I also stop trying to bridge the distance? What if another year goes by, and I’m still not a mother, still not the songwriter I want to be, still not my desired weight, still not earning the money I’d like, still living with a leaky roof and wonky walls, still puzzled by pronouns, still not able to do the splits?
What if? Dot-dot-dot.
It’s because of hope.
Yes, what if? I looked at the prospect of spending the last few months of my 30’s panicking, crying, and worrying, and it seemed wasteful. This shouldn’t be 40.
Uncharacteristically positive what-ifs popped into my much more mature, little head. What if the day after The Day, I wake up to discover that I haven’t melted at all? What if it isn’t the sizzling of green flesh that I hear the morning after, but the ideophone of an entrance into a sparkling Emerald City? Bling-bling! This could be 40.
What if I close the gaps to my past and my future one yellow brick at a time, one kind thought at a time by celebrating the me I once was, and the me I look forward to becoming?
It’s because of acceptance . . . eventually.
I’m glad I allowed myself to be a lousy blogger, and tend to the wounds that come from falling between life’s tectonic plates. And after spending some time there, I’ve decided that this is 40. It is a yellow patch in the road that connects all that I might have been, and all that I might yet be, with all that I am.